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The Importance of Wearing a Mask During the Flu

Do you often wear a mask when you have a cold? Or do you always recommend that people in your office wear a mask if they are sick? Your actions are correct, but how effective are the masks you are wearing? Are you wearing your mask properly? Is wearing a mask enough to prevent transmission of the disease?

Is it true to wear a mask when the flu effectively prevents transmission?

For years, scientists initially doubted whether wearing masks could prevent the spread of the virus. However, only in recent years, the medical world believes that the use of masks is very helpful. A 2008 study revealed that when used properly, mask use was very effective in preventing the spread of the virus.

Another study involving 400 people, obtained similar results. The study found that the risk of developing the flu fell by as much as 70% in participants who washed their hands regularly and wear masks.

Different types of masks
In general there are two types of masks that can be used as protection against infection, the first is a facemask or facial mask, and the second is a respirator. Facemask is a mask that we usually see and most used daily, this mask is a disposable mask that is not too tightly attached to the user's face. Doctors, nurses, and other health professionals usually wear this type of mask when handling patients.

This mask can prevent the movement of large particles of body fluids that may contain viruses from sneezing or coughing the patient. However, the drawback, this type of mask can not prevent the movement of small contaminants that move through the air.

Respirators, also known as N95 respirator masks, are masks designed specifically to protect users from small particles in the air that may contain viruses. This mask has been certified by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

The name N95 itself comes from the ability of this mask to filter 95% of air particles. Besides being used by health workers, this type of mask is also commonly used in painting or when someone handles an ingredient that has the possibility of poisoning.

Unlike facemasks that cannot completely cover the face of the wearer, the respirator is designed to be perfectly attached to the face and does not leave the slightest gap for the virus to enter.

How to wear a mask properly?
In 2010, the CDC renewed their flu prevention pathway. They recommend the use of masks for health workers when making contact with flu sufferers. The CDC also recommends giving masks to patients who show symptoms of respiratory infection.

Masks can indeed reduce a person's risk of contracting the flu. However, this will only happen if the mask is used correctly. Here is how to wear the right mask:

  • Wear a mask when you are about two meters away from a sick person.
  • Position the mask to cover the nose, mouth and chin. Try not to touch the mask you are wearing again until you take it off.
  • Wear a mask before approaching a flu sufferer.
  • Wear a mask if you have a cold and have to travel to a public place.
  • After you finish using the mask, discard your mask and wash your hands. Never use the same mask twice.

Prevention is still better than cure. Preventing yourself from exposure to viruses is the best method for dealing with flu or other illnesses.

Masks are an excellent method, but of course they need to be accompanied by proper use. In addition to masks, one of the important precautions is to wash hands. In addition, you can also protect yourself with vaccines to prevent yourself from contracting certain diseases.

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